Monday, February 25, 2013

Getting Your Point Across (by GUEST BLOGGER Dionne Tuplin)

Me and Dionne, May 2012

Dionne and I have been friends since September 1991. That's a lonnnnng time. She's actually the person that got me started working from home, even though I turned her down for two and a half years.  We've been through an awful lot together, including the ups and downs of working from home. Dionne lives in Canada with her husband and three sons. She wrote this guest entry as a part of a Survivor game that I'm hosting for my team... her blog entry won her immunity.  And, no, it was not because of favoritism. Read for yourself...

Dionne Tuplin, Director V
The Ugly Side of Business from My Perspective

For many, people like to see and hear all the great things about working from home; how much money you can earn, the trips, cars, compensation plan, financial freedom, etc.  Those are all great things, they DO happen, and when it does, the world is your oyster.  However, many who decide to get into this business are not prepared for all the WORK involved.  In fact, I like to say, some are downright LAZY.  That’s right, I said it…LAZY!!!  Lazy to the fact that this doesn’t happen overnight, and the success stories of others also include plenty of struggles and hardships, sacrifices, late nights, early mornings, missed events, arguments, tears, struggles, hair pulling and many reasons to quit.  Many aren’t really prepared for what’s involved when you start your own business, and in reality, they just want the glory without all the hard work.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

My Life as a Work from Home Mom

Working from home has its good and bad points, and I have seen and experienced quite a few.  When I say that some are downright lazy, I mean all they see are the dollar signs; the big bucks and THAT’S all they want.  What some don’t seem to realize is that it takes TIME.  I am in a relationship business, and what that means is you have to be willing to develop relationships with others before you even approach them about what you do.  People have to feel (and know) that you care about them and are looking out for their best interests.  I remember listening to a training call from one of our top leaders.  She talked about when she connects with someone, especially if it’s someone she hasn’t spoken to for years, she will wait a whole YEAR before she even speaks to that person about the business.  I almost fell out of my chair.  I thought, “A YEAR?!?!?!  What is she crazy or something?  I don’t have a year.  It has to happen NOW!!!”  But that has stuck with me and I realize that she’s right.  I have to be willing to invest my TIME in someone; find out all that I can about that person; show a genuine interest and let them understand that I care about THEM.  It’s hard, even tempting to jump all over them with what I have to offer, but more often than not, that tends to scare people off.  This business isn’t going anywhere; in fact, it keeps getting better and better every day.  I like to think of the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, because sometimes, slow and steady wins the race.

Dionne's boys, Isaac, Elijah and Justus
Working from home has been a blessing and a curse.  A blessing in that I can roll out of bed and not have to worry about gas, tolls, day care, a boss, etc.   The downside is, because you’re home, you also have your other responsibilities.  The kids need you, the house needs to be cleaned, everyone needs to be fed, the bills have to be paid, time with your spouse, time, time, time, time.  Oh, and you are running a business from home.  As I am writing this, I’ve had to stop to tend to my oldest who’s been throwing up all weekend; help my youngest who almost had an accident; feed the boys (again) and break up a few fights.  This is LIFE, people.  You can’t turn it off!!!  What I have come to understand is there really is no such thing as TIME MANAGEMENT.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day; no more, no less.  It’s how we utilize our time that makes all the difference.  I make To-Do Lists, and do my best to follow that list as much as possible.  I’d say that I am 80-85% successful with maintaining my lists, and when I do, the results are mind-blowing.

Choices, Decisions, Action
Dionne & the VP of Leadership Development

Life and business are about choices, decisions, and action.  We can choose to be happy, sad, indifferent, etc.  We can decide which mood to be in and how to act on them.  You’re going to be dealing with many different personalities that will more often than not, clash with yours.  Others will look to you for guidance, support, encouragement, and to let them know that you will be there and lift them up.  However, when things aren’t going so great, some of those same people will look to you as the blame.  I’ve come to realize that regardless of what’s going on around me, my successes and failures are a direct result of MY actions…no one else’s.  Some will choose to go with you, some will start and leave, and some will take their own path.  But as long as you stay on YOUR course, you will get to your destination.

Overall, the Benefits Outweigh the Struggles

My experience working from home has had its ups and downs.  Lately, there have been more downs, but what I have come to realize is that just like life, my business hits some bumps in the road.  I’ve experienced success, failure, I’ve helped others succeed, watched others move forward, while others have turned the other way.  I’ve met some amazing individuals who have been such an influence on me personally, professionally and spiritually.  The friendships I have made, I will cherish forever, and my mentors have been my biggest support throughout this whole experience. 
Dionne and Bruce Newby, the first and only
black Corporate Directors with our company

The biggest and best reward of all is that I am doing it.  When I started my journey almost 5 years ago, I was scared out of my mind.  I had no clue what I was doing or what I got myself into.  But, I believed in what I saw, my values and beliefs were in harmony with the company’s mission statement, and I wanted a piece of the action.  It’s taken some time, but every day, I wake up and I set out to make a difference in someone’s life.  There are days when I don’t want to do it.  I don’t want to deal with the craziness.  I’ve dealt with lots of no’s – I think the no’s outweigh the yes’s most of the time.  I’ve had people tell me I’m wasting my time;  I should get a “real job;” I’m taking advantage of people and I will not succeed in this business.  It’s hurtful and I have to force myself to NOT take it personally.  At the end of the day, are those people who said no going to pay my bills?  Are they going to give me the life I want?  No!!!  That is up to ME and no one else.  On those days when it seems like the odds are stacked against me, I look at why I do what I do – my boys and my husband.  They trump everything else.  

I AM a success story.  I am very critical of myself and I need to look at all I have accomplished.  I have to learn to not compare myself with anyone except me.  Today, I have to be just a little better than I was yesterday.  I am making a difference in my life and the lives of others, and I celebrate all the victories I’ve accomplished.  I am thankful I was introduced to this company, and given the chance to create my dream life.  I truly love what I do, and I love when others are on board to change their lives as well.  It’s so much fun taking the journey with others and being part of a team.  I love seeing and hearing the success stories of others because they are doing what is necessary to succeed.   My journey is ongoing, and each day is a new chapter in my book.  I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me next.

Dionne & Jory Russell, the Regional Director of Sales for Canada

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Another Check, Another Trade

I got paid today! Woot! Take a look:

I also withdrew about another $200 via Direct Deposit. My total earnings for January were $1933.84. That breaks down to $24.79 per hour, considering I logged 78 total hours last month. Not too shabby... And the checks are just going to get bigger from here. I'm more than happy to help anyone earn a check like this, too. Just let me know if you're interested. You can leave me a message at 631.954.1919 and I'll get back to you ASAP.
So... Remember that green paperclip I started out with? I traded up to a Bic pen with a medium tip from my friend, Sarah, in Ohio. Sarah is really involved with Virtual Ability,  and traded with me so that I would bring attention to their organization. Make sure you check them out!

Take a look at my happy new pen:

It is brand new, black ink, and worth about $0.20. So, who has something that they would like to trade with me? I'll trade anything for it, as long as it is worth more than 20 cents. And if you trade something worth $5 or over, I'll even link to your website, fan page, or blog in my next trade entry. Remember, unless you live near me, we will trade through post. Make sure you read my Green Paperclip Blog Entry so you understand my conditions.

If you want to trade, either leave a comment or send me an email.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I've Gotta Brag!

I have working this business since August 9, 2011. That is a mere 17 months that I have been working 100% from home. I started out working just five (5) hours per week, until this past September, when I upped it to 10 - 15 hours a week. I'm still working from home, mind you. And look at what I accomplished:

Booyah. I can't wait to get my check.

That is all.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Power of Marketing: Car Exercises

Many people lump sales and marketing together. Without marketing, sales would be lower-- After all, who would buy soething they never heard about? Without sales, marketing still exists. It doesn't matter if something is sold or not-- Of course, sales means that marketing is effective.
Marketing and advertising should go hand in hand. In layman's terms, marketing is telling people about something or bringing attention to something. Successful marketing means that people participate in whatever the marketing message is: Sales, travel, protests, etc.
I am going to do two exercises in marketing: one WITHOUT any money and one WITH money, so you can see what I ramble about in this blog. It has nothing to do with my business, but will demonstrate to you how effective marketing works.
Before I even go on, let me explain to you my basis of these exercises. As you know, my husband was in a massive car accident on January 11, 2012. He was hit, head on, by a drunk driver:

We were leasing the Tucson, and had $5000 to go. Unfortunately, our car was totaled out and we are still waiting for the payment from the insurance company after they pay off the lien. I think it's $5000. You can't get a car for $5000, and we aren't going to go into debt to get a car. Right now, he's still tooling around in a horrible rental car, until we get that check. (And Lord only knows when we're going to get that.)
In 2005, a guy named Kyle MacDonald created something called the Red Paperclip Project. In this project, he started out with a red paperclip and traded up to a house. The cool thing is that he didn't even try to market his project. People just picked up on it and ran with it. He traded up from a red paperclip to a house in Sasketchewan, Canada.
So, I'm going to do something in the same vein as Kyle, but I'm going to change a couple of things up:
  1. I am starting out with a 1" green, metallic paperclip.
  2. I will trade for ANYTHING worth more what I am currently holding.
  3. I will NOT travel to you to make the trade, unless you pay for my travel expenses or if you live within 3 hours of me. All other trades will be done through the mail, UPS or FedEx.
  4. My final trade will be to a "new" car made in 2012 or later, and in excellent driving condition. (I don't need a house.)
  5. Everyone that trades will receive a "plug" on this blog, including a link to the website of their choice. (Sorry, no porn.)
  6. All trades are final.
Yep, I'm starting with a paperclip, too. And here it is:
What do you have that you will trade for this paperclip? As soon as I receive an offer of a trade, I will update the blog. When the trade is complete, I will take another picture for the next trade. You can either post in the comments section, message me on FaceBook, or email me.
I don't have information on this, as I am waiting for approval. I will update this blog as soon as get the approval. However, Exercise #2 will last just 90 days.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sarcastic Responses to FAQs and Comments I Get About Working From Home

If there is one thing that you've learned about me through my blog is that I'm brutally honest. I'm downright blunt. I don't sugarcoat things, to say the very least. I have known my friend Sally since we were about five years old. She is on virtually all of my phone overviews, and she knows HOW I want to respond sometimes. She can tell you that I've gotten a lot more... diplomatic? Tolerant? I don't know the word. However, she has had to interrupt me a few times.

I just thought I would give the folks on my team a laugh with this blog entry, and perhaps make some people that are thinking about it realize that their fears and doubts are unfounded and maybe contact me for more info. (You can email me at CandyCain(at)wedeliverwellness(dot)com or call my voicemail at 631.954.1919 and leave a message-- I promise I will call you back.)

This is a pyramid scheme.

No, it isn't. Pyramid schemes are illegal. Our CEO sits on the US National Board of Ethics as well as the US National Chamber of Commerce, and the company has carried an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau since 1987. But thanks a lot for trying to make me seem like a scam artist and my livelihood appear to be a joke.

You know, just for doing that, let me point out how YOUR current job - or the job that you used to work - is a pyramid scheme. Oh, you worked in corporate America? Yeah, it's still a pyramid scheme:

With my company, you have no limit to the amount of money that you can earn. You can make millions, if you work hard. You won't make it overnight or even in a month-- But you CAN get there. Can you make millions working as a lingerie associate in JC Penney? No, you can't. Trust me-- I was one. But, if you're satisfied living in your fear to just fold panties for the rest of your life, we probably wouldn't work together very well anyway.

Do you really make money with this?

No, I do it for fun. I have twin four year olds, own a travel and event planning company, amd very active in my kids' school, and my husband is a cop who works non-stop, so I figured I would take up marketing as a hobby. I do it for free. The company tries to send me checks, but I tell them to keep them.

Here's a check from almost exactly one year ago, when I worked maybe 25 hours in January 2012:

Yes, it is less than $700, but that's because I only had this check scanned on my computer. And, if you do the math, that breaks down to $27.69 per hour completely from home. No sales, no inventory, no parties, no investments, no risks-- No kidding. I do my business how I want, when I want, and work my schedule around my family.

And, yes, I really do get paid for it.

There's gotta be a catch.

(Insert sarcastic font here... They really need to develop one of those.)

Yes, there sure is a catch. If you want to work full-time with me, you have to spend eight hours a day here in my location, and I will give you one hour for lunch. You must be here no later than 9am and leave no earlier than 5pm, which means that you have to spend at least one hour in your car per day, on your own dime and your own time. You must spend upwards of $4000 per year to pay for your own gasoline to drive to and from work. You must dress nicely-- No jeans or sneakers. You must do what I tell you to do and meet all of your deadlines. Your starting salary will be $10 per hour, and I will review your performance in six months to see if I think you deserve to make extra money. You must provide your children with your own childcare, as there is no daycare at work. And, no, I will not give you any money towards it-- You can pay that through the money that you earn working for me. I must approve all of your vacation time, and you can have two weeks per year. No, you can't have holidays off, since there are others that are senior to you. You have ten sick days that you can use each year, and you must have a doctor's note to prove you're sick, because I don't trust you. If you don't provide a doctor's note, you will be docked pay and perhaps even terminated. You will have a cubicle next to Ralph, the creepy guy that still wears pocket protectors and won't stop talking about his grandma's cornbread.

Come on.

I know someone who works the above job that I typed out. She got a raise and is earning $13.50 per hour. And Ralph indeed talks about his love affair with his grandmother's cornbread at every turn.

Want to see a picture of my "co-worker" in my office? Here you go:

Incidentally, that's my daughter, Catherine. She's my coach. Both of my kids are, really, but she actually looks at my business reports and whatnot. I reach my goals FOR my kids, because I set a business goal and they choose a reward that they get. For example, I hit a big goal that I was striving for, and I'm taking my kids to a dude ranch on the 18th. I answer to my family, because I ask them to hold me accountable. They don't breath down my neck.

And they don't even like cornbread.

I hate sales.

Well, thanks for that little tidbit about yourself. I hate sales, too. It's a good think I work in marketing then, eh?

I don't know how many times I can say it: No sales. No inventory. No quotas. No investments. No risk. No parties. No deliveries. You don't handle other people's money.

I explain everything on my phone overview, if you'd like to call in. Again, just contact me.

This sounds good to be true.

You know what is too good to be true? Dishwashing. I love dishwashing. I really do. No one in my house is allowed to fill the dishwasher, because I have total OCD over it. If it isn't filled correctly, I completely freak out, unload the dishwasher, and reload it. And pots and pans?? I view them as a challenge! I do some of my best thinking when I'm scrubbing grubby pots and pans.

Can you believe that they actually pay people to wash dishes at restaurants?? How cool is that! And they actually get paid for washing dishes!! Talk about too good to be true!!


Here's the thing, folks: If this sounds too good to be true to you, it's probably because you are or would be really good at marketing. There are some people that complain that this job is too "hard." Some people can't do it. I like washing dishes. I obsess about washing dishes. However, I would never work as a dishwasher.

You're nothing but a cellphone to me.

Someone actually said that to me on a call!! Sally and my sorority sister Kristy (who also works with me) still refer to it!!

No, I'm not a cellphone. But, thanks for the interesting insult. I've never been called a cellphone before. I'm a real person, just like you. However, I might just have a few more brain cells...

Am I allowed to quit if I don't like it?

No. Never. You start working with me, and I own you forever. I even get your soul when you die.

People actually ask me this!!!

A few things: Would you go to a job interview and ask them if you're allowed to quit if you don't like the job? Secondly, asking me if you're allowed to quit makes me not want to work with you. It makes me think you're going to half-ass this job. If you're already thinking about quitting, do me a favor and move on. We're probably not going to get along.

Yes, you can quit. Don't even ask me if you decide to give me a call. If you're not happy, you can quit. Hopefully, you see what I see and stick with me, my team and the company for a while.

Just to give you an idea about my background, that's me getting makeup put on in the photo. With my other company, Candy Cain Travel, I work in paradise. I even had a television show about destination weddings in development. My company is extremely successful, but you can't measure happiness in dollars. I want to bring this marketing business to a point where I don't have to do travel anymore, if I don't want to. I don't have a background in marketing. I have a degree in Dramatic Literature from The George Washington University. I'm a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. I'm a mom. I'm a wife. I'm an entrepreneur. Can you relate to any of that?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Life Happens.

It has been over a month that I have written, but I do have good excuses.  My first excuse:

Please don't drink & drive
Now, I'm not going to get on a soapbox about drinking and driving... My husband was hit by a drunk driver on the night of January 11, just before midnight. He had just left work and was coming home, and some stupid kid was driving northbound in the southbound lane. He smashed into my husband's Hyundai Tucson - HEAD ON - and totaled our car.

Seriously, don't drink & drive. Please.
Fortunately, my husband walked away from the accident. He's still in pain and going to doctors and getting different testing-- Let me tell you, that is NOT a call you want to get at 11:58pm. You see that smash in the windshield? His hand went through it. The EMTs on scene thought it was his head. Very, very, very scary for our family.

Not to give working from home a plug, but you have NO idea how comforting it was for me to be able to drive him to the hospital and the doctor and the lawyer and so forth, and not have to worry about calling in sick to a job. I have some amazing people on my team - Sally even came with me the night of the accident so I wasn't alone - and they picked up some slack for me. It was just really, really, really comforting.

FYI - The drunk wasn't hurt, either. As a matter of fact, he was released on $500 bail the next morning. No comment.

The second reason why I wasn't around was because I wanted to spend some quality time with my kids:

I thought I had other pics of me and the kids on this computer, but I don't... I took them to Disney. You see, you never know when it's your time, and you need to make every minute of your life count. Do I want my kids to remember me as always being away? Or do I want them to remember amazing times that we spent together?

Last year, I went to Mexico 14 times for my travel business, Candy Cain Travel. I also went to the Dominican Republic, Vegas, and Minneapolis for travel work. If you add up all of the time I spent away from my family, it was about three months. Was it lucrative? Sure. However, working this business from home can (and will) be even MORE lucrative. Last year, I had 26 destination weddings on the books. This year, however, I have one that I am personally doing. Unless it's a REALLY special wedding, I would much prefer to focus on working from home. (This wedding, however, is going to be AMAZING, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it in May.)

My husband getting into the accident and me seeing all of the time I spent away made me realize that this could have happened while I was out of the country, and not able to do ANYTHING - except cry and panic - from where I was. Not only was I able to take the time I needed for him, but my business has been going so well - I was #4 in the company last month - that I am going to purchase a car and get reimbursed from the company!! I don't have to get a Pink Cadillac-- I can choose whatever car I want, and I get $400 per month for it. As a matter of fact, my husband and I started picking out the car three days before the accident... We're revisiting what we want to do and will come back to it after the dust settles.

The bottom line is this: Life Happens. However, where exactly will you be when it does? I know where I want to be, and that is with my family. Because I work from home, I'm able to spend time with my kids. I'm able to do goofy stuff like this:

That's a centerpiece for the Father-Daughter Dance at my kids' school. I'm a co-chair, and am able to contribute TONS to it, including coming up with the decorations. (Incidentally, my mom made those. I just found them on Pinterest, with the help of my friend Molly.) I'm also helping with their Chinese Auction.

And I'm taking my kids to a dude ranch for a couple of days in February. And I bring them to Gymnastics every week. And my daughter goes to twirling every week, and I'm the one that takes her. And... And... And...

Even if you don't have kids, this is totally something that you can do to save for a brighter future: No debt, world travel, everything you could ever want or need-- And you can provide it for yourself, just by working from home.

December was a light month for me. I earned $1403.95 for 61 hours of work. That breaks down to a little over $23 per hour. Not too shabby, considering I literally work in my PJs after I put my kids to sleep. If you want to learn how to do what I do, or just find out more about it, either shoot me a message, get me on FaceBook, or call 631.954.1919. I'm happy to give you details.